Neighborhood Board Election Results Released after Inquiry from Hawai’i Free Press
by Andrew Walden
Last night the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office website indicated that results of the May 17, 2019, Neighborhood Board elections would not be released until June 3, 2019.
This was a change from previously announced deadline: “The Results are released no later than 7 days following the end of voting” -- May 24, 2019.
So we sent the NCO a question: “Why has the release of Neighborhood Board election results been pushed back from May 24 to June 3?”
Along with the response, we also got something else—the election results -- five days ahead of the new deadline.
Here is what James Skizewski, Community Relations Specialist of the Neighborhood Commission Office told us:
The results were never pushed back. Results are required to be released by the first business day in June of the election year per the Neighborhood Plan.
We do acknowledge that there was some miscommunication as our website did mention that results would be published 7 days after closing. Although online voting ended on May 17, per the plan we do allow one weeks’ time to receive May 17, 2019, post marked mailed ballots. Following that one week waiting period, ballots were counted the day after Memorial Day, certified by the commission on Wednesday May 29, and released today May 30.
We assure you all election deadlines were met in accordance with the rules outline in the Neighborhood Plan.
Sec §2-17-309-b of the Neighborhood Plan reads: “The certified election results shall be made public no later than the first business day in June of the election year.”
18,450 ballots were cast yielding 10.26% voter turnout, both records for Neighborhood Board elections.
Four of the NB races are tied and will be recounted. If the recount does not break the tie, the winner will be decided by lot.
PDF: NB Election Results
From Honolulu Neighborhood Commission, May 29, 2019 Minutes
Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) Update – Executive Secretary (Executive Director) Shawn Hamamoto reported the following:
Neighborhood Board Elections – There were three (3) areas of improvement:
1. Candidate Registration – 553 was the second highest ever.
2. Contested Races – From 45 in 2017 to 63 in 2019.
3. Ballots Returned Rate (%) – From 9.9% to 10.1%.
4. Number of Ballots Returned Decreased – Down to 18,000, as many "at large" districts (like Mililani) had uncontested races and no ballots were mailed out.
April 25, 2019: Neighborhood Board Voting Begins